Track teams take third at NCAC Championships

Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the North Coast Athletic Conference Indoor Championships this weekend at Denison, and both posted impressive third place finishes.

The men’s team was led by Tony Dipre, ‘10, who won the mile with a NCAA “A” cut qualifying time of 4:10.84 and earned the honor of NCAC Distance Runner of the Year.

Not to be outdone, Chris Marker, ‘11, won the five-kilometer run with a time of 15:08.38, winning the event for the second straight year.
The team of Mike Vlah, ‘13, Alex Gorski, ‘10, Dipre and Marker won the Distance Medley Relay, an event which consists of a 1,200, a 400, an 800 and mile leg, with a time of 10:35.79.

Other notable finishers in the mile behind Dipre included Ryan Hanson, ‘10, who was fourth, Ben Eyer, ‘10, fifth and Vlah sixth. Donte Briscoe, ‘12, leaped to a second place finish in the triple jump and a third place finish in the long jump. The triple jump distance came in as the second best in school history at a distance of 46 feet and 3/4 inches.

Tim Hasset, ‘11, took ninth in the 55 hurdles. Andrew Mahone, ‘11, took second in the 800 while Matt Brush, ‘11, finished seventh.

The women’s side had very strong performances across the board, with the most impressive run going to Mia Symoniak, ‘10, who crushed both the school and NCAC records by over 10 seconds with a time of 17:19.82 in the 5k.
Beth Muller, ‘11, also had an impressive turnout, with wins in the 55-meter dash (7.51) and the 200 (26.37). These were complimented with a second place finish in the 400.
Lauren Butler, ‘12, also repeated as the shot put champion with a final distance of 41 feet, 9 ¾ inches.

Others who had an impact included Kelly Galagher, ‘13, who placed fifth in the 5k behind Symoniak. Holly Wilson, ‘13, jumped to second place in the triple jump. Emily Norton, ‘11, took ninth in the 55 hurdles, and edged out Wilson for third place in the long jump.

Although Ohio Wesleyan and Wabash defeated the men this weekend, the optimism of the team remains unaltered.

“We are a much better outdoor team,” said Taylor Throckmorton, ‘12. “We are expecting to do better in the spring,”
Throckmorton explained that indoor meets do not have as many distance events, which the Gator men are most known for, nor as many throwing events, in which they are also strong. The outdoor season allows the men to showcase more effectively their running and throwing talents.

Both the men and women’s teams are smaller than the other teams in the conference.
“To do as well as we did is quite impressive, considering how few of us there are,” said Norton.

Men’s teams in the conference, such as Ohio Wesleyan University, have close to 40 athletes on their rosters, while Allegheny’s men’s team is fewer than 30 after many crippling injuries this year.

The women’s squad is also far outnumbered by competitors, but is still able to win events and get points.

Even though this was a big weekend for the runners of both teams, indoor track season is merely preparation for the outdoor season, which starts up immediately after indoor track finishes and ends in late April.

“Indoor track is a necessary evil,” said Coach Bill Ross. “It is not something we usually taper for, it is more to just prepare us for the big meet at the end of spring, but we did as good as we can with what we had.”

Dipre will travel to DePauw on Friday to compete at the NCAA Championships, while Symoniak hopes that her provisional qualifying time will be enough to earn her a spot in the meet. As for the rest of the team, the outdoor season starts with the Washington and Lee Invitational on March 26.